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NEBA Hosts Candidate Forum for Leon Commission Seat

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-912742.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – The North East Business Association held a candidate forum Tuesday at the Monroe Street Conference Center. As Margie Menzel reports, it featured the Leon County Commission at-large seat now held by Cliff Thaell.

Thaell is running for a fifth term. His opponents are Nick Maddox, a former football player and vice president for development at the Bowden Foundation; Rick Malphurs, a former Marine and third-generation business owner; and Scott Matteo, a civil engineer who has served two terms on the Ochlockonee River Soil and Water Conservation District. All criticized Thaell's record and called for more help for the private sector.

"The reputation that we have to outside businesses and outside communities is one that Tallahassee is a very hard place to do business," said Maddox. "I think that 16-year incumbent has given us that well-deserved reputation."

Thaell responded that his experience is needed and had already saved the county millions.

"There's been 4 votes that I've taken in the last five years that have saved this community almost $4 million over what was proposed by the staff," Thaell said.

All the challengers said they're for term limits, but Thaell, who was first elected in 1994, disagreed.